The WORD in Other Words by Fr Aris Martin SVD (USA) for Memorial of Guardian Angels
A good friend is happily married for 53 years now with children and grandchildren. Bothered about the increasing number of unhappy married couples coming for advice, I asked her a classic question, “What is your secret?” Her reply, “Father I married Angel.” She literally married a man named Angel, God—sent. How could an angel break her heart?
Today, we celebrate the memorial of the guardian angels. The closing phrase of the Gospel assures us, “… I say to you, that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” Whose angels are these? They are the angels (partners, guardians) of the childlike.
The first reading talks about Nehemiah, the childlike, who is extremely sad because of the destruction of the city of his ancestors and yet is willing to go and rebuild it. The childlike are not always happy. They may have deep sadness about how things are threatened by human neglect, ill will and greed. But the childlike hope that things will not remain as they are. They have courage to face the threat of destruction and rebuild it. The childlike may be sad but not hopeless. Their hope is in God.
Today‘s Gospel singles out the child as the greatest: hopeful and humble. No amount of sadness and difficulty can destroy a man or a woman who has these childlike qualities. My friend, by marrying Angel, experienced a piece of heaven on earth.
Most of us are still finding our guardian angels on earth. If we have not found one, the message is clear: be an angel to others. Be humble and be hopeful and you will be holy. Happy Angels‘ Day.